tv With All Due Respect Bloomberg June 11, 2016 9:00am-10:01am EDT
narrator: the contemporary art world is vibrant and booming as never before. it is a 21st century phenomenon. a global industry in its own right. "brilliant ideas" looks at the artists at the heart of this, artists with a unique power to astonish, challenge, and surprise. in this program, american painter and filmmaker ellen gallagher.
♪ work for melagher's is all about wit and skill, the skills that she does. >> just thinking about her approach to materials, the islity of ideas, and she often able to do that in such a playful way. to me, that makes all of the difference. >> our work is attractive not -- on a caro: her work is attractive not merely on a visual level but because it is work that seems to encourage you to join her in the process of inquiry she is on rather than being something confrontational or excluding or exclusive.
and i think the way she is able to encourage us to make these connections, through work that is technically incredibly accomplished and visually extraordinarily beautiful and culturally, very, very rich. i find her work fascinating. narrator: ellen gallagher burst into the art scene and the early 1990's and caught the attention of curators and collectors alike. anthony: i immediately liked her work in every case. they were fantastic and really powerful and important, and you can see she would be a great artist. narrator: although one of the most highly-regarded american artists in the world, for ellen, creating work is full of challenges. ellen: there is this thing that happens when you are starting work, not just starting, you can be well into it. it is just not happening. you ride home on your bike with the worst feeling. it is just the worst possible feeling.
it is really unresolvable. what is really nice are the few times where you go home and you are like, there is literally a thread connecting you back to the studio because you cannot wait to get back. the work becomes the being, and that is for me the most perfect time of the work. that is the best. narrator: ellen was born in 1965 on the east coast of america to an african-american father and irish catholic mother. ellen: my sister and i were raised by my mom in providence, rhode island. and so it was sort of the three of us. this was kind of core of the family. my mom was really seen as, you know, it was sort of out that she did that, you know, had two daughters on her own in the 1960's. now, it is not a really big
deal. if you think about it, i had a straightforward, normal childhood. i remember when i was really little, the first painting i saw was in my school. it was a botero of fat children, and it made me cry. i thought it was really a hideous thing, and it scared the -- out of me. [laughs] it scared me as a child, and it still does. i don't know. and there were some early works that really stuck with me. my mom had these posters around the house of art. there was an abstract poster she had, and i never noticed until i think i was a teenager and moving out of the house that woven into it, it said "black is beautiful." i loved to discover that. and then i had a really amazing literature teacher, blossom
kirschenbaum, who was just the most wild teacher. she had me reading bernard malamud at age 14 and sinclair lewis and toni morrison and really creating this portrait of america through what we read it. and blossom -- mrs. kirschenbaum, i am saying blossom now that i'm older, she is an incredible visual person who made you things and not just read things and comprehend them but they were actually visions that had meaning. narrator: after graduating from high school, ellen decided till leave rhode island and travel to boston to attend art college. ellen: and even i was not sure that i would be an artist. i think i did not really decide that i would try to be an artist until i went to summer program in maine called skowhegan.
that is when i think i decided that i would just try. narrator: little did ellen know that "oh, susanna," her final painting at art school and the series of works she continued in skowhegan would rapidly make her name known in the cutthroat world of the new york art scene. zoe: that whole "oh! susanna" series in the mid-1990's was, i think, really grabbed everybody's attention in an undeniable way. narrator: ellen's piece "oh! susanna" takes its name from the enduringly popular 19th-century minstrel song. the lips and eyes in this work mimicked the work of comedians, dancers, and singers to represent black artists on stage.
ellen: it is basically this top to bottom, left to right penmanship paper grid, and the in my skinnerally tone, brownish. and in that, i started as a map of my idea of what was a blonde lady. the lady seemed to be activating this minstrel show. zoe: there was something about coming across the braille-like detail of the eyes and the lips disembodied, and then once you are able to figure out what they are actually referencing, able to disembody able such a painful part of american history. a painful part of my history and the artist's history and able to be playful. and subversive. i had never seen anything like it. narrator: by now, ellen would
use humor and satire to explore the complexities of african-american history. such as her piece "deluxe." caro: i think she is best known for her large-scale, gridlike compositions drawn from advertising and american magazines and "ebony" and "sepia." drawn from the late 1930's through the 1960's, and these adverts for wigs, hair-lightening products, aimed so predominantly aimed at women but men as well. she manipulated and extracted a whole range of materials from coconut plasticine, oil. and really playfully make us think about issues of race and gender and consumerism and society. zoe: when they first came out, they looked so fresh and they were so different, and that is just as true now. i think effectively she has been able to play with the language of advertisement but to feed us
something new. we are not getting pop art, say, the commentary in a much nuanced fashion. sarfraz: the black faces become white, and she uses things like plasticine as well to create of certain absurdness of something. what was a dark chapter of american history. ellen: i do not want to make a picture of something you already think you know. i am not making a critique in the sense. it is absolutely not that. i want to make a picture of something i feel like we are together making language for as we speak. narrator: although ellen was an important force in american art, it was her decision to move halfway around the world that would push her and her work in new and exciting ways. ♪
narrator: ellen gallagher is one of the most acclaimed artists to have emerged from the american art scene in the 1990's. her intricate works combine technical skill with wit and razor-sharp social commentary. in 2001, ellen decided to escape the art world capital of new york and set up studio in europe. ellen's studio is in an old tin factory in the dutch city of rotterdam, europe's largest port. ellen: i needed a city that was really still a city. it is also, for me, it is also the brownest city i've been in europe in terms of cultural mix of people. that is important. i think also just being directly
on a port and its really matter of fact way, it is a working port. it is not at all that kind of american face. in a sense, my work here is not -- it is not defined as such. and so i feel like there is a lot of potential here for the work to grow. narrator: but it was not just a change of scene that prompted ellen's move. she came to rotterdam to live with dutch artist edgar kleiner. and it was not long before their personal relationship also turned professional. ellen: his practice comes from a more documentary practice, and he is also a musician. so musicians are always in the world. and i am a little bit separate in some ways. my temperament keeps me that way. so this is sort of a balance. ♪
narrator: edgar has a background in film, video, and animation. working together, their first video work was "murmur." ellen: i think i had to pull you into "murmur" at first. you were not interested. in the beginning. i always wanted to work with edgar. i had seen his work in korea. i always responded to it. i had thought it was really lucid and in the world. i do not know if you wanted to work on films with me. [laughs] edgar: it is easy to have the ideas and much more difficult to make the films and actually make them happen. that is the problem with animation -- they take so much work and such a long time that some of us lose interest. [laughs]
narrator: the couple are currently working on ideas for a new piece, which will explore what they see as man's continued disregard for nature and the environment. edgar: the idea for the film eventually is that -- somewhere in a parallel universe or future -- we have not decided -- as a human species, that we cannot live together with nature. and so we make a radical split, and nature is transported to a subterranean world. and man lives on the outer shell. narrator: although the collaborations with edgar came later in her work, ellen has always sought inspiration from others. zoe: it is that kind of surprisingly collaborative nature in her personality of not only wanting to work with others
but to find out where others are coming from that i think then ends up finding its way into the work in a lot of ways. narrator: working with other artists or on her own, ellen keeps returning to her greatest inspiration -- books. ellen: i love to read. it affects me physically, and it makes me see other possibilities. i guess it sounds corny, but it is just really true. narrator: it was one book would would helpar that her realize one of her best-known works. ellen: in 2009, the book "leviathan" by philip hoare came out. i went through it. i mean i devoured it. it gave me a lot of courage. it led me to continue looking into this idea of whale fall, which is the idea it is based on.
i made this piece that was about the osedax worm, which is where the work it got its title from. it is whale carcasses on the bottom of the ocean. this cycle of whale fall, the constantly falling through the ocean and becoming a kind of an ecosystem and continuing. and then those worms becoming like dandelions and spreading out and looking again for more whale falls. zoe: i think it is a sense of how film is able to tell a particular story that perhaps could not be told in any other way. narrator: whilst ellen and edgar continue to make installations, it is her most recent paintings that are considered to be some of her finest work.
anthony: everything she has done before makes sense. seeing these new pictures were beyond anything she had done before. she gets stronger and stronger. and i think more people realize just how important she is. narrator: these latest works combining skill with references drawn from history, literature, and geography, were made for the grandest stage of all -- the venice bienalle. ♪
paintings, drawings and collage. ellen: i really think traveling in and out of painting and drawings -- and i think a lot of people -- a lot of time people categorize things, they want to categorize things as drawing or painting or film. for me, it is all one thing. narrator: as well as using an ellenof different media, has drawn inspiration from a wide range of subjects from literature to the physical beauty of the islands that make up the caribbean. ellen: for me, the interesting thing about the idea of the archipelago is that it is this slip that happens consciously, where on the one sense, it is the description of the sea, the broken up sea. on the other hand, i always understood it as a particular set of islands or nations together.
it could be cabo verde or hawaii or the caribbean. but the idea of it being the kind of visible space and less visible or less readable space is interesting to me is that they exist together. narrator: but it is not just the islands that inspired ellen, it is also the ocean itself. ellen: going under water for me is really inspirational. it is more exciting to me than the idea of space travel, i guess because it is more tangible. this idea that it appears to be this surface that you see, but in fact, it is all of these actions that might give this particular color this day. but in fact there are like a
million things coming together to make it happen. i find it really beautiful, and that is true today, but it might not be true tomorrow. narrator: ellen's fascination with the caribbean in particular began during a formative journey she took to the island of martinique, aged just 20. ellen: sailing from new england to the caribbean, you actually -- you sort of sense this passage of time that is not so great. it is immense in a sense that you have ended up some place. all of a sudden, everybody at the docks was brown-skinned. some variation of brown. i had never seen my -- it is like i had landed on a new planet. i had never seen a brown planet before. i had never seen a black nation coming from rhode island. at the same time, it was like i had entered, you know, it was my first experience of africa in a sense, i think. it is exciting to feel connected to places. and that you actually can pull
it sometimes into the work. narrator: ellen's final inspiration for the series came in the form of poems by a martinique writer, aimé cesaire, about the caribbean archipelago. ellen: he writes poems that deal with this idea of the interlocking membranes that exist through the nation as though it could be a nation. narrator: he imagines the islands forever bound together by the shared memory of the horrors of slavery. ellen: he creates a life force but it is a life force that is a crucible of pain. i came up with idea of a vertebrate, something that is both separate and hinged together. i like that split of positive and negative, like the
archipelago, but also as a disturbance of the sea. narrator: ellen's ability to weave so many ideas in her work is why many feel she is one of the most exciting artists working today. caro: she draws incredibly widely in terms of her references. from popular culture to advertising and the media, from american historical popular country. minstrel particularly. but also from literature, from melville to gertrude stein, and again referencing art and music. and i think there are hooks for so many people to enter her work and approach her work. if one reference escapes you, another will chime. zoe: as a museum curator, i think our roles are constantly to think about how we look after collections for future generations and build on those. i absolutely see ellen gallagher as one of the artists whose work
will stand the test of time. and i think the body of work she has created is so substantial since the 1990's to the present, that what we are able to see is not only a very particular and singular evolution of one artist's practice, but the way in which she has taken on many other references, the way she has collaborated with others, and we are able to glimpse into her work, i think, really the evolution of the nature of contemporary art. sarfraz: i think it is fascinating how she uses her background as an inspiration for her art. and i also find it really interesting that because there is not much of the history or archive of black history in this particular genre, she creates new black archive. narrator: one of america's
leading artists for over 25 years, ellen is surprised about how far she has come. ellen: i certainly did not think i would be talking to you in a port in rotterdam. i think i imagined, you know, i would have liked a sort of clean studio like i had in boston. and i sort of wonder where that all went. and i sort of realized that no matter what i did, i would be sitting pretty much alone in a room drawing for the rest of my life. ♪ a
and we build a stronger economy with equal opportunities for all? had we build a sustainable world for generations to come? how do we protect our cities and harness the power of technology for a common benefit? the latesties, using bloomberg research and analysis, we will make sense of the problems of tomorrow --
inequality, sustainability, artificial intelligence, the gender gap, in the demographic film, howin in this we manage our megacities. millions of people every year harness the cities. are we creating centers of poverty, inequality, violence? this is the age of the city. for the first time in human history, more people live in urban than rural settlements. the world population is growing by 70 million people each year. of cities account for 50% global gdp. by 2025. rise to 66%
if we don't get things right, the consequences are profound. medically important to the global economy as to progress in the global economy. chaos can be sources of as well as development. the dual personality of cities is what makes them so alluring and vital. they can be dangerous places. but cities over fortunes can be made. >> one of the primary factors driving urbanization is opportunity. growing on a farm and crops, you don't have a lot of opportunity. you see a growing city, your friends are moving there, inting jobs and offices, manufacturing centers.
there is restaurants, culture, life. this is attractive and something you want to be a part of. they have greater access to schools, health care, employment and a much less vulnerable economic life. in 1900, 12 worlds biggest cities were in europe. 12 years later, just two. >> most of the growth will be in china, india, nigeria. staggering numbers. here is an example. , its population every year
is adding the equivalent of the population of boston. rate is overzation 70%. in china, it's still 50%. they will get bigger or there will be more of them. i think a lot of emerging markets, especially those with a large population are going to experience trends like that in the next 50 years. >> this incredible rate of growth makes the challenges of managing a large city even more unmanageable. the biggest risks are the same risks that challenge all of us, politically governing, climate change, economic inequality, productivity, education, transportation.
those issues that face cities are the same that face everyone except in a much more concentrated way. narrator: one city battling with these problems is rio de janeiro in brazil. she believes the world's biggest cities are in danger of sinking under a tide of poverty, infrastructure and citizen apathy. unless we do something about it billions will suffer the consequences. >> the kind of urbanization we have today can only go so far. if we do not change the way we design our cities and make cities change with us we will have serious limits. they will be impossible to live in, miserable places to be. if we change that process it could be nonexistent. we can better build them
editor: managing megacities is one of the great challenges facing the world. it is beautiful and vibrant. but it also has its problems. crime, inequality, and poverty. ellis andreason urban activist and thinker who has lived and worked in megacities on three different continents. she has worked with the united nations on it sustainable development goal in front of the gatheredaking date it from citizens to raise campaigns and solve the rapid growth of the city. activists.,000
>> we build on a rich position of neighborhoods in brazil and all over the world and try to bring it to the 21st century. i was born in this city and my family has a mixed background. my father comes from a neighborhood in rio that was quite dangerous in the 1990's, quite poor or lower middle class. my mother comes from a wealthy background. it taught me that the city can be amazing but also very rough and unequal and that's not just a characteristic of this city, i think it's something we see increasingly around the world. >> rio de janeiro is similar to many emerging megacities. are asighborhoods wealthy as anywhere on the planet.
others remain impoverished. bridging this gap will have profound benefits for us all. >> bring people closer together. they have this density in them. they are the places where most innovation will naturally happen because it's hard to innovate when you are always talking to the same people and hearing the same thoughts. cities are the contrary of that. they are natural hubs for innovation, economic growth and are the engines of growth in most countries. narrator: when the growth is rapid and unplanned the results are gridlocked streets, poisoned air and an infrastructure that cannot cope. >> i come from a city that expanded to rapidly for sure. how do you create sidewalks, schools, mobility systems to cater to a growing population?
if that is happening in environments where inequality is paramount, the challenges are even bigger. narrator: in a mega-city one of the biggest challenges can be getting from a to b. >> our mobility systems in general suck. when you have a poor mobility system you preclude entire segments of the city from enjoying the amazingness that cities have. it is hard for them to get around. you also preclude the rich people from getting to know other areas of the city which can be exciting and fulfilling experience in itself. where creating a city in which everyone is aware -- living in their own territory which is terrible. narrator: at the forefront of these infrastructure problems are the city's poor who can
become physically cut off from the economic opportunities living in a city provides. >> it includes rapid expansion of cities, the fact that in the developing world one third of the population is living in slums, something none of us should accept as we grow and think about a plan in which we want to live. narrator: slums are a result of unplanned expansion. an estimated 863 million people live in slums. if the slum dwellers in india were a separate nation they would be the 13th most populous country in the world. slums are not always hopeless places. >> they are not just sitting and waiting for the government to do something for them. they are creating their own environment. in rio, you see most of the
infrastructure was built by the community itself over the years. there is a level of do-it-yourself that you see in more poor neighborhoods than rich neighborhoods because the government wasn't there. narrator: slums must be handled delicately by urban planners. >> what do we do with areas that were developed by communities but lack infrastructure? even if we are assuming goodwill in terms of how we handle them, even if the only thing we want to do is to provide those areas with quality public services. there are choices that have to be made. which pieces do we leave, which pieces do we change? if we don't handle that process in a way that is human and intelligent and aims at protecting the interest of the poorer communities we can end up with massive rates of dislocation and destroying an urban fabric and social fabric that is so vital.
>> we have a neighborhood with a tram. it is beautiful. most trams were destroyed in the early 20th century. the neighbors organized and cap their trams. it was a forgotten neighborhood for a while. in the past 5-6 years it has been gentrifying. the government decided to turn the tram into a tourist attraction. the only reason why the tram still exists is because we organized and cap did hear. they created the value. they created the richness of that community. and we see donald l over the world -- and we see that all over the world. narrator: she believes cities often ignore creativity.
the result is a democratic deficit which erodes faith in the city government and alienates vulnerable communities. allesandra believes cities must take citizens with them if they are to expand successfully. >> we have not got it right, the process by which we involve citizens. i have not seen one case of a city that has used the collective intelligence of its citizens and distributed power to make it. when we get that right weevils , we will solve a lot of other issues we see. narrator: to harness the power of our cities we need to heal the divisions within them first. >> if we keep building unequal cities, cities are not very good to live in for most of their population. i don't think we can hope to be happy in these urban spaces in the worst-case scenario would be
cities that do not have a soul and become less and less attractive to entrepreneurs, for people who want to create, and become less wealthy. narrator: across the ocean, another giant city is growing. lagos has growing pains that are excruciating. ♪ narrator: more people live in cities than ever before. it many of the world's biggest cities are struggling to cope. lagos is the largest city in the
everyone has to travel by road. for workers, his daily commute takes over his life. >> what time did you wake up? >> like 3:00, 3:30. i usually don't do breakfast because it slows me down. narrator: in three years the population has nearly doubled from 11 million to 21 million. this staggering expansion is overwhelmed the city's in poverty infrastructure. >> as you take me 4-5 minutes to get to the office. >> in full rush-hour how long does it take? >> 6, 7 hours in traffic. three hours going, three hours coming back. it is was coming back. coming back is something else. i don't think i want to waste
seven hours of my every day time for the rest of my life. narrator: lagos is ranked in the top five least livable cities in the world. although the city's economy is bigger than kenyans getting to , their desks is a daily ordeal for millions of workers. >> when you see your children? >> weekends only. sometimes i see them during the week if they really want to see me. sometimes they miss me that much. >> it must be quite difficult. >> yes, it is. it is what we have to do. for now.
narrator: like millions of workers abraham's first acts getting to work in the morning is to take a nap. >> welcome to my office. >> what are you going to do now? >> i took a nap for 30 minutes. and get ready for work. narrator: 2000 people migrate permanently to lagos every day. expanding the city from the land to the sea. the result is slums like macoco. a floating settlement on the city's lagoon. >> infrastructure has not kept
pace with the population growth. basic measures to access clean water, for example, access to electricity are limited. before you get to issues related to growth and development, they have to sort out basic issues of infrastructure. narrator: 80,000 people live here in building sitting on stilts connected by a complex system of canals. >> successful cities find ways to deliver services to even the most deprived. that is the challenge in the developing world where resources are at a premium. narrator: residents have
developed their own infrastructure including freshwater and electricity. this three-story floating school which doubles at a community center is the latest addition to this unique environment. the school was completed in 2013. it is cheap and easy to build. they hope it will be a template for future buildings. >> it raises interesting questions of government control. it has been long ignored area. the local residents took charge and tried to improve their own lots with schools. the central government also has decided it wants that area for
its own development reasons. narrator: if you, there is a way, an alternative vision of how lagos may develop. a grand project of incredible scale. echo atlantic. >> we are in the alignment of the financial district. echo boulevard. this is where the major financial institutions will establish headquarters and offices. narrator: it is a multibillion-dollar residential and business district built on 10 square kilometers of reclaimed land. it is a new city or it will be soon. backers hope a quarter of a million people will one day live here with 150,000 workers commuting across the water. >> we looked at an area in london, dubai, and the heart of london, heart of paris, heart of new york. the vast majority are wealthy people. i could not afford to live in
the heart of london. but creating the residence for these people, you are also creating job opportunities. the norm in nigeria, if you create residential apartments, he also create orders for the domestic staff working for that family. this is a city development. it is not a settlement. it is a business sanctum. this is the future. the first commercial development of lagos. narrator: david hopes the first residential units will be opened by the end of 2016 with the infrastructure of the whole site in place by 2022.
>> projects raise as many questions as they answer. especially from where local residents are aware. they may be getting the short end of the stick. they do lend themselves to starting from scratch and being able to build structures where there are schools, hospitals, offices, transportation facilities. they give gigantic cities like lagos to create a model and plan to be executed correctly. narrator: the future paths of megacities like lagos remain uncertain. organic growth or large-scale planned developments like echo atlantic. what's clear is that growth could destroy city immense potential.
>> i'm an optimist when it comes to cities. i grew up in new york city in the 19 cities when the city was on the edge of bankruptcy and here we are in the 21st century, new york is booming and thriving. it is a tremendous place. you can see with proper planning and a diverse and vibrant population what is possible. >> i hope those little cities will be interconnected in a sense they will have solidarity networks, brazilian feel that works, and citizens will feel like they're cities where they want to be, is the project they want to build and they can move, visit each other, learn from each other. ♪
>> welcome to the latest edition of with all due respect best of. hillary clinton making history, the first woman to become a .resumptive nominee she closed out the race with on tuesday.s meanwhile on the republican side, donald trump continue to do with the follow from his racist comments regarding a judge. let's begin with